Join the Grinnell College Alumni Book Club

Connect with fellow alumni across the globe, and become a part of our virtual community. Share you commitment to lifelong learning by reading and discussing novels and books with your fellow Grinnellians.

Sign up today!

How it Works

Grinnell College has partnered with PBC Guru to create a virtual book club for Grinnell College alumni and friends, covering lifelong learning, personal growth, novels and other books the participants are interested in. The book club will connect through a private forum where all participants can discuss the current book and network with each other. Joining is completely free, you just have to get a copy of the book to enjoy. The book club will read one book every two months so that you'll have plenty of time for each book.

Cover for the book:  The Book of Unknown Americans: by Cristina HenríquezOur First Selection

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

The Book of Unknown Americans is the first read for the Alumni Book club and it was selected for the Grinnell College 2019 Common Read. The book explores a complex range of Latinx immigrant experiences told through the eyes of multiple characters struggling to balance opportunity and loss. It is a story of many stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up?

Head over to the Alumni Book Club landing page hosted by our partners PBC Guru. Click the "join" button and complete the registration processes. The process takes just a moment.

How often will books be read, what is the time commitment and what are the expectations?

We plan to start the book club by reading one book every two months. The texts selected will be lifelong learning, personal growth, novels and other books and take an average of nine hours to read cover to cover. If you have between 1 and 2 hours a week to read you should be fine.

Will there be any in-person meetings of the book club?

No, the book club will be entirely online. You can participate anywhere you have Internet access and on days and times that are convenient to you.

Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free for Grinnell College alumni and friends!

How do I get the books?

Participants can get books for free at their local library or purchase them. The Pioneer Bookstore has copies available to be purchased online.

How do book club discussions work?

The book club will have a moderator from PBC Guru who manages the forum where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the book club, share relevant articles and facilitate conversation about topics in the book. Members will be encouraged to post and share as well. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for readers to connect with each other through the forum.

How do I make a forum profile?

We're using a private forum to host the virtual book club so it's easy to connect with fellow alumni. During our sign up process, you will enter the information to auto-generate your free profile. After you complete the sign up, we'll send you a link to the forum and you can begin to post right away!

What exactly is PBC Guru and what do they have to do with the Grinnell College book club?

Professional Book Club (PBC) Guru is a book club management company that works with businesses, alumni associations and professional societies. Grinnell College is teaming up with PBC to put this program in place for Grinnell College alumni and friends. You can check out their website at if you want to see more of what they do.

I've already signed up. How do I log in?

If you are already a member, you can click here to log in.

What if my question isn't answered?

Feel free to send an email to or Sarah Smith-Benanti, assistant director of alumni and donor relations for diverse communities at